Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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The Biggest and Best Flowers for your XL Garden

Just a few more weeks until the official start of spring. It’s time to start thinking about what you can add to your garden. We came up with a fun theme for your new garden: extra large flowers.

Plants that have extra large flowers are great for adding vibrant colors and scents to your space. Using large flowering plants will allow you to have some fun with your theme too. You can have a ‘through the looking glass’ theme with huge flowers and small decorations. You can make it a kid’s garden (kid’s will love the flowers) or the theme can simply be large flowering plants.

No matter what theme you chose, you may need some guidance on what plants to chose. Here is a list of plants with large flowers and buds.

Perennial Hibiscus
Hardy enough to survive tough winters, the Perennial Hibiscus comes in red, pink, and white on stems that reach 7 feet or more tall. It’s is slow to start growing in the spring, but  the beautiful flowers will make up for it once it gets going.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Delphinium
The biggest varieties can reach 6 feet tall, though there are dwarf selections. Cut down spent blossoms to coax another flush of blooms. This summer flower comes in blue, white, purple and pink.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Hollylock
Known for its tall spires of colorful blooms, hollyhock is the perfect back-of-the-border plant. Old-fashioned selections can easily grow more than 6 feet tall in a spot with full sun and moist, well-drained soil. You may need to stake the stalks if you live in a windy area.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Giant Lily
Not known for being grown in cooler climates, your friends will be very impressed if you can manage to grow Giant Lilies in NEPA. It bears spikes of up to 20 big white flowers with maroon stripes and a rich scent. The plant itself can easily reach 10-12 feet tall and thrives in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Queen of the Prairie
The Queen of the Prairie’s fluffy, cotton-candylike heads are full of fragrant pink flowers. This easy-growing wildflower has toothed, dark-green foliage that’s a great accent to the blooms — and a striking backdrop for other perennials.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers


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Gardening Trends for 2016

The 2016 gardening season will soon be upon us so we wanted to write a little bit about what we see as an upcoming trends. As always, if you have any questions about the projects or the plants used, ask one of our wonderful staff.

Container Gardens
All container gardens will continue to be popular this year, probably due to their diversity and versatility. You can use so many different plants in such a small space and you can move these gardens to any spot where you need to add a little life. Our Diane is an expert container gardener. If you need help choosing plants or deciding how to arrange them, she is the perfect person to help you.

Terrarium Garden - Edward's Garden CenterTerrariums
Housed in glass vessels, this miniature gardens offer a unique look that will spruce up any space. There are many benefits to building a terrarium. First, building it can be a lot of fun. Planning and making a terrarium is a great project to do with the kids. Another benefit is that they are easy to care for, especially if you use succulents. We aren’t finished planning our workshops for this season yet, but you may see a terrarium class pop up on the schedule.

Naturalistic Landscapes
For some of you, this will be a trend that never reaches your garden. Naturalistic landscape are trending this year. What do we mean by that? The beautiful untidiness that comes with a wild, natural landscape. This doesn’t mean you just throw some seeds and never touch it again. You still weed these gardens, but you don’t have to make sure everything is the same height or a certain color. You just let it grow naturally. For those of you who are very set on pristine gardens, this trend will make you crazy.

Berry Bushes in Containers
We all know gardeners love to vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Berry bushes that come in pots are perfect for the gardener just starting out or the gardener that is out of room because the other plants are taking up all your space. If you find a berry bush in a pot, grab it. Yielding some berries for your fall pies will show it was worth it.

Petscaping or Dogspacing
Petscaping or gardening with your beloved pet in mind is the perfect blend of favorite things. Although dogs and plants don’t often go together, what could make a gardener happier than creating the perfect spot in the yard for a four legged best friend. Chose plants that are nontoxic and train your pets to enjoy this part of the garden, instead of the entire garden.

 


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Gardening Money Pits to Avoid

We know you love to spend time and money on your garden as much as we do. Setting a budget for your garden each season can be tough. We have all made mistakes (and wasted money) on plants, tools and flowers that we shouldn’t have bought. We are not here to lecture, but we do want to give you a few tips on things to avoid, going in to the next gardening season.

Edward's Garden Center in Forty Fort has Pansies

Chose your plants wisely, so you don’t go over budget!

Only buy enough plants to fill your space and your time
This is a tough one for gardeners alike. Spring comes and we get so excited to see flowers and color that we buy everything in site! When spring comes, take a breath, determine how many many plants you need to fill your garden and plan out when you are going to plan them. If you know you won’t get to one part of your garden for a few weeks, hold off on buying the plants. You may not be able to care for them and you may change your mind when you see something else at the Garden Center the following week.

Leave the poor quality soil and plants at the store
It may be tempting to purchase the soil on sale or the flowers from the local super center. Our advice to you is just make sure what you purchase is worth putting in to your garden. Your flowers and plants will not flourish in poor soil.

Don’t plant flowers that flourish in a different zone
By most USDA maps, Northeast PA is split between zones 6 and 7. Before you purchase any plants online or at the store, make sure they are meant to flourish in your zone. Non-native plants (or ones that have not adapted properly) will struggle in the wrong zone, require too much pampering (and resources), or worse still, become invasive.

Don’t grow more veggies than you can use (or pawn off on others)
If you are the neighborhood tomato grower, please plant until your heart is content. If not, please think back to last year. Did you end up with so many left over vegetables that they went bad before anyone could use them? Plant enough that you can get a decent vegetable crop but not so many that you are throwing your harvest away.

Save on water by collecting rain
Keeping your garden hydrated is vital. It is however one of the most expensive parts of gardening. When you know it is going to rain, place a few buckets outside to collect some water. This will help cut down on some cost later in the week. Maybe will the savings you can buy more flowers 😉


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Sore back from Gardening? Tips on how to ease it

Sometimes our favorite past times cause our bodies a lot of pain. Sore knees, sore backs, sore necks are just some of the ailments we hear from avid gardeners. While your back is on respite during these cold months, start considering how you can make this coming gardening season a less painful one.

So where should you start? The garden certainly isn’t going to weed, groom and plant itself.

We recently read a great post about this topic on the Big Blog of Gardening and we thought you may want to consider some of their great tips.

  1. Start with small easy tasks first, allowing your muscles and joints to warm up and get used to the movements. You can start by pruning bushes and trees that are just above or below waist high so your body can get used to bending and reaching. Trying mowing the smallest section of your grass first. Pull weeds out of your vegetable garden or sit down and begin planning out some container gardens.
  2. Consider wearing braces or supports. If your knee bothers you when you cut the grass, it may need some extra support. Wearing a brace for an ache can help support the muscles around that area and allow you to be outside enjoying your work longer.
  3. Use tools designed to help you garden easier. Use kneeling pads, gardening seats, extendable tree pruners and whatever other gardening tools you can find that make work easier.
  4. Work in your garden in increments. We know this one is probably the hardest for everyone, but it will ease your pain later. Set a timer on your phone and work in the same position for no more than 90 minutes. Take a break and switch tasks. If you were sitting on the ground weeding, stand up and do some pruning or stand at a table and organize seeds. This will give different muscle groups a needed break and you won’t hurt as much later.
  5. Switch lead hand and foot. According to the Big Blog of Gardening: “The importance of this tip cannot be overstated. The single most common flaw in digging/raking/sweeping technique is that we continue to rock back and forth with the same leg in front, and the tool in the same hand. This means only one leg takes all the ground reaction force, our spine is twisted only one way, and one side of our core muscles fatigues very quickly.” Switching leads will help you fatigue slower and feel better later.
  6. Get help! Another tough one to remember for many of us. If a task is too difficult because it involves heavy lifting or lots of strength, remember to ask for help. Is it really important to say you did it all by yourself? No. You’ll get more gardening in if you are not injured.

 

We probably made you all long for spring and time for digging in the dirt. Just 63 days until spring! Remember to come back to this post when you start working in your garden 🙂


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Birds Who Visit Your Garden in Winter

The cold dead winter has finally arrived in Northeast PA. The garden is dismal, the weather is bitter and no one wants to go outside. The only glimmer of life that can be seen out your window are the few feathery friends that have not left the area due to the cold.

common_grackle_6

Common grackles can be seen all around Pennsylvania throughout the winter.

Of course we want to keep the little birds coming to our yard and brightening our days. But do we even know what kind of birds we are attracting or how to keep them coming back?

According to a study done by Penn State, there are about 35 different species that frequent bird feeders in PA during the winter months. Rural areas see the most diversity, while more urban areas may continue to see the same species all the time.

Penn State has this wonderful chart on their website to show what birds are around our area in the winter and what food they prefer. We provided a copy of that chart below. Take a look and then keep reading for more tips on how to get these guys to make a stop in your garden.

Species Food Preference Feeder Preference
Mourning dove Cracked corn, millet, sunflower seeds Ground, platform feeder
Red-bellied woodpecker Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Downy and hairy woodpeckers Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Blue jay Sunflower seeds,  suet, peanuts Platform feeder
Black-capped chickadee Sunflower seeds,  suet, peanuts Almost all feeders
Tufted titmouse Sunflower seeds,  suet, peanuts Hanging feeder, suet feeder
White-breasted nuthatch Sunflower seeds,  suet Almost all feeders
Red-breasted nuthatch Sunflower seeds,  suet Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Carolina wren Peanut butter, suet Suet feeder
European starling Peanut butter, suet, sunflower seeds Suet feeder, platform feeder
White-throated sparrow Sunflower seeds, millet Ground, platform feeder
Song sparrow Sunflower seeds, millet Ground, platform feeder
Dark-eyed junco Sunflower seeds, millet Ground, platform feeder
Northern cardinal Sunflower seeds, seed mixes Ground, platform feeder, tube feeder with tray
Common grackle Cracked corn, sunflower seeds Platform feeder, tube feeder with tray
Brown-headed cowbird Millet Platform feeder
Purple finch Niger, sunflower seeds, millet Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder
House finch Niger, sunflower seeds, millet Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder, gound
American goldfinch Niger, sunflower seeds Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder, gound
House sparrow Niger, sunflower seeds Platform feeder, tube feeder with tray

Each one of these birds may have different food and feeder preferences, but on thing they all require is fresh water.

Water is even more crucial to birds than food is during the cold months. Many of their usual watering holes are frozen over or dried up so if your backyard has a nice bird bath, they are very likely to come back over and over again.

Shelter is extremely important to winter birds too. Different species will gravitate toward different kinds of shelters. Some birds like the covering of a green bush while others like an empty bird house. Offering both is not a bad idea, because it will bring a variety of birds to visit with you.

Hopefully many feathery friends visit and brighten your winter days this season!


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Resolution Ideas for Gardeners

Resolutions have a bad reputation as starting out as good intentioned ideas and ending up as epic failures. We have a great idea to make 2016 different. Chose something you actually WANT to do as your 2016 resolution. Sure you want to lose weight, but maybe you don’t want to change your diet or exercise. You may want to save more money each week but you don’t want to give up your morning stop at the coffee stop.

Make your resolution something you want to do and you will stick to it. 

For all our garden lovers out there, here are a few resolution ideas that you will want to keep up with all year.

Spend more time actually enjoying your garden
We all spend countless hours each week (or day) working in our gardens. From planning to watering and from pruning to planting, we work and work and work. Of course it’s work we enjoy. But at the end of the day, how often is there enough time to just sit and enjoy what we created? In 2016, promise to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the garden you created.

Make a plan for the spring and summer seasons
This is something you can do starting today. Get out a piece of paper (or several depending on your garden) and begin sketching and labeling what grows in your garden. Make a plan for what plants you want to move and what you want to add. Think about any big projects you want to do and start planning them. In 2016, promise to have the best garden you possibly can.

Try something new
It’s easy as a gardener to stick to the same plants you always grow. Make 2016 the year of planting something new and learning how to care for it. If you have never grown vegetables, start a vegetable garden. If you have never tried a more exotic variety of flowers, go for it! You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Visit your favorite Garden Center weekly (hint hint)
You know you love seeing all of the new plants, shrubs and garden trinkets that your favorite Garden Center has to offer. Why not stop by each week to see what’s new? Here at Edward’s Garden Center there is always something new to discover. In 2016, stir your creativity by stopping by your favorite Garden Center weekly.

Wishing all of our readers the best 2016 possible! Hopefully, whatever your resolution is for the year, you are able to accomplish it.

Edward's Garden Center Resolutions


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Thank you and Merry Christmas!

As we prepare to close up shop for the “cold” winter season, we’d like to take a moment to look back at this wonderful year at the Garden Center. It was a year full of events, new ideas and new faces.

Merry Christmas from Edward's Garden Center

Merry Christmas from Edward’s Garden Center!

Edward’s Garden Center really began to take on a new look this year, with our Land of Gnomes kids’ area, a new winter home for our pets, new statuary and some general moving things around. We also added a bunch of new handmade and unique items and a new service called “We Plan, You Plant“.

Our events were by far the biggest and the best ones yet! We met so many new families and saw many many smiling faces. We laughed at the pet costume contest, marveled at the line to see Santa and were overjoyed at the kids who visited all our animals. And of course we helped so many people pick out flowers, plants, trees and shrubs to take home to their gardens.

Even our seminars, which started out a few years ago as small group chats, have grown into interactive classes that are a ton of fun. We love bringing these fabulous classes to our community and can’t wait to do it again next year.

We know that none of these amazing events and changes at our Garden Center would be possible without our customers. We truly thank each and everyone of you.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Big things happening in 2016 at the Garden Center. Make sure to check our Facebook page often for updates, contests, event dates and more.

Thank You from Edward's Garden Center


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Unique Gifts at the Garden Center

Our Garden Center has become known as a place to get quality, unique items. From plants, flowers, Christmas trees, wreathes and more. The holiday season at the Garden Center is no different. Here’s a look at some gifts you can pick up for your mom, dad, grandparents, teachers, babysitters or any garden lover you know. Don’t forget, we close for the season in one week so stop by on or before December 23rd.

Miniature Garden Kits
A great gift idea for almost any family member, but especially good if they are garden lovers. We have many different kits available in a range of prices.

Fairy Garden Kits at Edward's Garden Center

Miniature Trees and Plants
These are a nice gift to bring someones home if you visit for the holidays. They are easy to care for and bring a little holiday cheer with their festive decorations.

Holiday Gifts at Edward's Garden Center

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Cute Tree Ornaments
A great gift for anyone during the holidays is a Christmas ornament. You can never have too many ornaments or regret adding to a collection. We purposely bring in a beautiful holiday collection to sell at our store. Stop by and see!

Christmas Ornaments at Edward's Garden Center

Holiday Candles & Decorations
Like ornaments, candles and decorations are a great gift. We have a unique  collection of holiday decorations like these adorable snowmen!

Holiday Decor at Edward's Garden Center

Gift Certificates
A gift certificate to Edward’s Garden Center is always a safe bet during the holiday season. Stop in and purchase one in an denomination.

We only have a few days left before we close for the winter season. Make sure to stop in this week!

 


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Prepare your garden for feathery winter friends

Winter is coming….not just a famous quote from hit show and book series Game of Thrones, but also the truth! Cooler weather has descended upon Northeast PA and we know that means frigid temps will be here soon. Cold weather is not just a pain in the neck for us, but can be a hazard for our bird friends that don’t fly south for the winter.

Edward's Garden Center - BirdsDuring the winter months, birds have a rough time finding fresh water. Many of the streams, ponds and bird baths that they are used to frequenting are frozen over or dried up.

Water is not only important for hydration, but it also helps birds preen their feathers. Without proper preening, birds’ feathers won’t stay positioned and aligned. Feathers out of alignment in winter create gaps in insulation, which makes birds lose body heat faster.

To help provide fresh water to birds over during the winter months, make sure your bird bath is always full and has a heating element to keep the water from freezing. You can purchase heating elements at hardware store or online. Many of these units turn on and off automatically depending on the temperature outside.

Water is the most important thing you can provide for winter visitors, but food is a close second. Birds bodies require more calories during winter months to keep them warm. Seeds, plants, berries and insects won’t be around for birds to feast on. Many birds look for reliable feeders during the harsh winter months. You can help by providing feeders with Suet, Nyjer thistle seed and black sunflower seed. The more often you keep the food stocked, the more often you will enjoy watching your feathery friends this winter.

Birds do like to keep warm and out of the snow in the winter. While some birds grow extra feathers or drop their body temperature to stay warm, others needs a warm place to hide. Providing birds with a small house to rest will keep them happy and safe all winter long. You can help by leaving your bird houses outside in the winter and cleaning out all of the debris from the breeding season.

We all enjoy watching the birds fly around our garden during the spring and summer, but don’t forget to care for them all year round. Providing fresh water, food and shelter will keep the birds coming back to your yard over and over again.

Some information for this post came from http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=2060.


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Fall Porch Ideas

Generally by November 5 in Northeast PA, we are bringing in our flowers and thinking about how to winterize our gardens. This year we are lucky enough to enjoy a few more weeks of nice weather. So let’s celebrate by making our porches and front entrances festive! Here are some of our favorite ideas for fall.

Pumpkins as House Numbers
Cute idea the kids can help you make! Paint a pumpkin white or purchase white pumpkins. Paint your house number on them or use felt or foam numbers.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Add a rustic touch
Plant your seasonal flowers in a rustic pail or pot. Repurpose whatever you find for a rustic look.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Go opposite with color
Fall is FULL of colors so make your porch or walk way calming with cool tones like white and pale blue.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Cornstalks add great character
Large cornstalks are definitely eye catching as people walk or drive-by. What could make your porch look more falltastic?

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Monochromatic pumpkins make unique displays
Once thought of as strange, the white pumpkins are very popular for designing this year. You can create a pretty scene using jewel-tone flowers and monochromatic pumpkins for an elegant look.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Repurpose an old wagon
At Edward’s Garden Center we love to repurpose old things. In fact its one of Diane’s specialties. One of our favorite ideas is reusing an old wagon to create a pretty scene.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

We hope you enjoyed seeing some of our favorite ideas for decorating your front porch. Enjoy the unusually warm weather and create a beautiful entry way into your house!

Photos for this post came from Country Living and Buzzfeed.